Thursday, September 1, 2011

Updated - Suggestions for a Baby Registry and more

Baby Registry Ideas

Prelude: I have two children, a two year old boy and a 6 month old girl.  I had two c-sections due to not dilating.  With my first pregnancy I dilated to 6 and stopped.  I labored for 30 hours before having the  c-section. My second pregnancy was a planned v-bac, but I labored for 7 hours without dilating at all.  The doctors/nurses did all they could to stop my labor too.  I nursed my son for a year and got pregnant soon after I finished nursing. I am 5’9’’ with a womanly shape and I wear a size 16 currently. I only gave you all that information because some of it might help you with your choice in clothes and other things.

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Some Specific Items
Peapod       Go-Pod       Bumbo       Brestfriend       Boppy       Thermometer       
Nursing Bra       Modest Middles       Nursing Tank       Bike Trailer       
Infant stroller       Take-along swing       Bathtub       Vitamins     Jumbo Wheel

Ideas for a Baby Registry and MORE
If you are trying to save money, then check out the notes to the right of each item. Also I strongly suggest buying items second hand. However, if you have the money and like new things, buy new J It’s also important to know what space you have for the baby stuff.
X – I strongly suggest getting this or something like it
N – Breast feeding/Nursing item
C – Cloth diaper item

DURING PREGNANCY
Pillow – if you want to save money, use a bunch of pillows; but realize the pillows will move and you will have to rearrange them throughout the night. I know that from experience.  During my second pregnancy I bought a pillow and I wish I had bought it sooner.  
  Lotion – I’ve found that more people swear by cocoa butter lotion to prevent or reduce stretch marks. I bought some and used it a couple times, but that was one smell that I couldn’t handle during my first pregnancy. I didn't have issues with the smell the second time around.  There are many other lotions people swear by but I've not found one that has worked for me.  I've read that many women will get stretchmarks no matter what they do/use.
Maternity/Nursing Tops – These tanks are amazing. They are such good quality and can be used while pregnant and nursing. They hold their shape and hold your chest in place. I have not found that in any other tank top nursing or not. I am currently a size F, so I know a bit about that. Actually it works better than any sports bra or regular bra I have ever owned. The clips on the bra part are great too. They are easy and quick to undo.  I'm still using the ones I bought when nursing my first baby.  They are still like new.  
  Massager – I had back pain and back labor. This was a great tool. But you still need someone who is willing to put the work in.
  Tummy Sleeve– This helps in the early stages of pregnancy to cover your unbuttoned pants. I didn’t find it useful in the later stages but that could be due to my large hips.  I didn't use this during my second pregnancy as I wore maternity clothes from the get go due to not losing all my previous pregnancy weight.
Underwear – I used my regular underwear for quite a while then I bought some maternity ones. There are bikini, thong, and briefs. Use what you find most comfortable. Better yet, have a couple different kinds.
  Compression Pantyhose – My legs swelled horribly starting in the middle of my second trimester during my first pregnancy. There was a short time where my legs were in major pain. I had to cut as much salt from my diet as possible and at every possible minute lay with my legs elevated. I did wear the compression pantyhose for a couple weeks, and they did help. However, I HATE pantyhose and the diet and elevation of my legs helped enough where I found I didn’t have to wear the pantyhose. I’m still really glad I had them for those couple of weeks.
X Prenantals I will be taking when the ones I have run out.  Prenatal vitamins + Omega – I am currently using this. This is an all natural vitamin. Your doctor will give you ideas of what minerals and such you need in your vitamins. Check there first. A friend who is pregnant was told that probiotic vitamins are the best. From what little research I did, I agree with her findings.

BEFORE BABY’S BORN
Preemies items


Sleep Time
   Crib – I moved my son to his crib at 3 weeks old. I woke at every noise he made, so the only way for both of us to get a decent couple hours sleep at a time was to be in separate rooms. I kept the railing low until he began standing around 5 or 6 months old. In hind sight I would have had my husband move the mattress up to its highest level. It’s difficult on the back bending over picking him up and laying him down. Make sure your crib has levels. The crib had a sheet and a sleep positioned in it, no bumper pad due to SIDs. I did have a mobile but he never liked it, so it wasn’t used.  I ended up getting rid of the crib after my son.  I chose not to get another one for my daughter.  
  Crib sheets x3 or more – I had three sheets and did not need more. Mine had elastic all the way around. 
  Crib mattress pad – helps keep the baby from the cold plastic. Sheets are great but aren’t a good insulator from the plastic mattress. I would use a flat pad. Then you don’t have to worry about it fitting the mattress after it’s dried nor about the sheets fitting around the pad. If the mattress is a material that is not waterproof, you’ll want a pad to protect the mattress. In that case, I would get a fitted pad.
Bassinet - I used this beside my bed for the first 3 weeks of life. Then it just took up space. I gave it to a friend who is expecting. A bassinet is great for the first few months until they start sitting up maybe rolling over. If you have to buy something, I would spend your money on a pack n play with a bassinet attachment. That will give you much longer use.  I used a bassinet for my daughter until she was about five months old.  She liked the sounds, lights, and vibrations attached to the bassinet which was a HUGE blessing for us.  However, I only used it because it was given to us.  I used a pack n play with a bassinet attachment at my mom's which worked great too.
Bassinet sheets
Pack n play – For my first child, I had one set up in my living room for quite some time. I often used the changing table attachment but rarely used it other than that. I did take it outside at times when my baby was in the crawling stage. This way my baby could be close but safe while I did yard work. We keep one at my mom’s house for the baby to sleep in while we’re there. That’s super helpful. My daughter out grew her bassinet and is using the playpen to sleep in.  She loves it.  I do suggest getting one that has some padding.  The one at my moms is hard.
Pack n play sheets x2 or more – I use the sheets when the baby is sleeping in the pack n play. When it is being used as a play area, I take the sheets off.This way any drink or food spills are easier to clean up from the plastic bottom. No worries about having to change the sheets every time it is used for play.
Monitor – I used to think the video monitor was over doing it, but I changed my mind quickly after my baby was born. I never bought one, but wished I had. The sound and light monitors are nice. I used the sound for a short time, but I found it had a lot of interference and I still awoke with every noise. The lights, I used a lot! The louder the noise in the baby’s room the more lights shown. When our baby started crying like a baby not an infant, I took away the monitors and just kept my bedroom door open a bit. I was done with the monitor! But it was nice for the first 6 months. What a video monitor would have given me that I so desperately wanted: see that my baby was still alive (yes, it goes through mommy’s head), be able to get him when he wakes up rather than begins to cry, as he gets older it would be nice to see how he entertains himself when he wakes up My son was LOUD.  My daughter is not so much.  So I still use the monitor at night time.  I don't see a need for the video monitor for my daughter.  She is more predictable in her sleeping habits.
Night light – it’s nice having a very dim light when entering the room to feed/change your baby during the night. Our humidifier had a light on it and that worked great as a night light.
Blanket x 3 or more – my cousin makes the softest blankets I’ve ever felt. Baby’s love them!They are expensive but well worth having at least one. She doesn’t make much for sewing them due to the expensive material. I did not register for any blankets but received five. Three of them were handmade. I received the softest blanket ever, a crocheted or knitted one, two quilted ones, and a store bought one. We use all of them! That said, I highly recommend not registering for blankets. You’ll probably get quite a few handmade blankets.
  Pacifier – I heard so many things about pacifiers especially if you will be nursing. I now believe using a pacifier the first two to three months would be a God send. I have only found moms who gave their little one a pacifier and nursed them to say they were glad they had a pacifier. My son used one very little. I wished he used it more. Instead he used me. That became painful. My daughter was given a pacifier at birth and still didn't want it.  She didn't really need one either.  My son and daughter are soooooooo different :)
Sound machine – I have family members who swear by white noise machines and use them themselves. The machines give you various choices of sound and seem to last longer than a CD.We purchased some white noise on the internet and download it. It was definitely a LOT less expensive, but we the CDs skipped a lot. We finally stopped using it around 4 months out of complete frustration with the skipping.  My daughter didn't need white noise at all.
Picture books to read to baby x2 or more (what kinds of books to get) – It is important to read to your child. And the sound of your voice is calming to them. It also helps give you something to do while feeding your infant and then getting them into a routine as they get older. I read different stories to my son when he wakes and the same story just before bed time. He has plastic and cardboard books that he plays with too. He has a couple plastic books that have places for pictures. I’ve put his momma, dada, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins in there. He loves them.  My daughter now loves those books too.  And my son loves reading too her.
Music – It’s nice to have soft instrumental music playing in the background for you and baby.FYI: The hyperlink here is not one that I’ve heard but I thought it might fit. As your baby gets more active, you’ll want to get more active music. I have been searching for songs that are sung by children the way children would actually sing them. The closest I came to finding that was a Veggie Tales CD that my mom had. She found out they were no longer selling that one, so she gave me hers. You gotta love moms J 
Humidifier – This humidifier got mixed reviews; however, we have it in our son’ room and both my husband and I love it. We’ve gone through plenty of humidifiers too. We’ve had this one for about a year. Some humidifiers have filters that have to be replaced. That adds up quickly.This one does not. It’s easy to fill and use. You can change the direction of the mist, have it on hot or cold mist, and it tells you when it needs to be refilled. The light on it is just the right amount for me to change my baby’s diaper or nurse him at night. So the humidifier is my night light. The mist is very fine and it took me a while to figure out what ‘film’ was collecting in my son’s room. It turns out it’s salt. This caused his white noise CDs to skip. I’m sure it would fix itself if we used regular water instead of our water softened water. We’re too lazy to go outside and get the other water. It’s not a big deal now anyway since we stopped using the CD. I actually would like to get two more for a couple other rooms in our house.
Digital humidity & thermometer gage – The humidity and temperature are important to have a healthy living area for the baby. During the summer times in AZ the humidifier is on most of the time, but I realized during our last winter I had to shut the humidifier down most of the time due to too much humidity. That gage came in very handy. I strongly suggest getting one.

Diapers and such
Changing table – We bought our changing table off of craigslist.com. I love it and used it the first 10-11 months every time I needed to change a diaper. I now leave a changing pad on a bed and change him there. It works well. I just have to remember to have a diaper and wipes on the bed.It was nice having a changing table for the height, sides to help keep baby in place, and the storage space.  
Diaper rash/Thrush cream – When it comes to my baby, I do my best to use all natural things.I didn’t know about this earlier otherwise I would have bought it. One nice thing about cloth diapers is that babies rarely get diaper rash, so I’m still on the same bottle of desitin. Neither of my babies ever got thrush, so I don’t know too much about that.
Diaper bag – My sister-in-law makes strong diaper bags, but it looks like she is taking a break from making bags. She takes a lot of pride in her work and does an excellent job. The diaper bags are more on the expensive side due to the cost of the material, but they are well worth it. She makes large and small bags. I have one of each but use the small bag all the time. If you are really trying to save money, you could use any cloth bag.  A cousin of mine is an amazing seamstress.  She could probably make anything you'd like.
X C Wet bag for cloth diapers – Wet bags are super important in keeping odors and messes contained when away from home. You could use Ziploc bags instead but I think you will end up spending more money that way and you’ll have more headaches too. Just throw your wet bags in with your diapers on wash day. Some people only use their wet bag once before washing it again. I have two wet bags and I reuse them until I wash them. It’s worked out well for me. A cousin of mine is an amazing seamstress.  She could probably make anything you'd like.
X C Wet bag for cloth wipes – When using cloth diapers it is easier to use cloth wipes. You put them both in the large wet bag after being used. I know some mothers use cloth wipes even if they use disposable diapers. The cloth wipes are better for the babies’ bottoms. I have three wet bags for cloth diapers. This is helpful when making a new batch of wipes. I have one bag with the last batch. Then I have two others for the new batch. I usually make 11 at a time. I can fit four or five wipes in each bag.  A cousin of mine is an amazing seamstress.  She could probably make anything you'd like.
Changing pad x3 or more – I have about five changing pads. I rarely use the store bought ones due to them being all plastic. I have three that were handmade and use them all the time. The one my sil made has cloth surrounding the wet pad. It’s super nice and the one side is great to lay baby on. I would like it to be a bit longer, but I’m sure you could request that if you wanted.  A cousin of mine is an amazing seamstress.  She could probably make anything you'd like.
X C Cloth diapers – I have bumGenius AIOs with the Velcro. I love them but suggest getting the snap closures if you get the AIOs. If you get the Velcro, I suggest not putting them in the dryer.  Rumparoos are great. If you’re trying to keep the expense down low, buy tri fold diapers and covers. Those work too J
X Disposable diapers - store brand has served us well. Wal-mart works the best.  I use these when we are some place rinsing messy diapers out won’t work well, i.e. camping, park,etc.
X C Cloth wipes (make own wipes if you want) – I love my wipes. They have a side to collect messes and a side for the final wipe. These are way better than disposable.
X Disposable wipes – I have these for backup in case I run out of cloth wipes or for outings where I use a disposable diaper.
X C Diaper pail – My diaper pail does not have a foot pedal. That would be nice as long as it didn’t break.
X C Pail liner x2 – I have two of them. I have an extra so I can still use the diaper pail when one is in the wash. Just wash them with your diapers. Don’t dry.
Pail freshener (bottom of page) – helps with the smell
Vaseline squeeze tube (most important for boys) – I used this after my son was circumcised.The squeeze tube made it super easy.
    Elimination Communication or Infant Potty Training - My 6 month old daughter has gone potty on the "toilet" a few times already.  But the training has been more of a hit and miss, meaning I'm not consistent with it.  I hope to get more consistent soon.  I think she'll be an easier one to train.  My 30 month old son still has his bad days.

Clothes
Dresser – I strongly suggest getting some sort of dresser. (The top might even be used as a changing table)
Hamper – I like mine. There is a net inside the hamper that comes out. 
Swaddle x 3 or more – I had a swaddle similar to the infant wrap. It worked so well! I think the halo one would be super nice too especially as the baby gets older. Sometimes the baby kicks so much it opens the swaddle. The halo could also be used without the wrap just in case your baby doesn’t like being swaddled. That’s highly doubtful but possible. I had a swaddle with feet, but it was really small and could only be used for about a month. This one looks much better. If you only get one, I would get the swaddle with feet. You can use it in the car seat, swing, bouncer, carrier, stroller, etc.  My daughter hated being swaddled.  She mostly wore pjs with feet.
X Pajamas x4 or more – Those pajamas are so cute. I personally use baby nightgowns. They were given to me. I haven’t been able to find them in the store at all. But they’re nice especially the ones with the elastic at the bottom. They cover the baby and it’s easy to change their diapers. 
X Shorts onsies/ pants onsies -
Mittens – I wanted these but didn’t get them until later. He didn’t scratch his face for the first few months. That may have been due to being swaddled until he was three or four months. I probably could have used it after that, especially while he was sleeping. But I don’t know…  My daughter scratched her face all the time.  As long as I keep her fingernails trimmed, she doesn't have scratches.
Hat & Booties – Bubby got a couple hats from the hospital and the some from others. His feet were too big for booties, plus his feet were often covered in his swaddle blanket. I ended up using socks. Everything I read states that you should not have baby’s wear shoes until they are walking and then only outside.
Playing
Place to put toys – Think about what type of furniture you would like to store your baby’s toys.There are three choices, open furniture, furniture with lid, no furniture.
Open furniture:
Negatives - toys will always be seen and possibly messes
Positives – quick to find toys and see what your baby has
Furniture with lid:
Negatives – toys usually get piled and are difficult to find and difficult to keep organized; baby’s climb on them
Positives – toys are enclosed; easy to say if the toy doesn’t fit in the box, get rid of it
No furniture:
Negatives – nothing is really organized; kind of messy
Positives – you know what toys your baby has
My children have a "play room" with a toy box, some larger toys, and two shelves.  I have bins of toys on the shelves.  They may have one bin down at a time until they get better about putting their toys away on their own.  It's either that or they have less toys.  Mom's sanity is important.
  Bouncer – My son did not like being in the bouncer for more than 10 minutes at a time.  We didn't have a bouncer for my daughter, but I hear many parents saying their babies enjoy their bouncer.
 Newborn Swing - Those first three months with your first baby seem to go by so slowly especially that first month. Remember, they have been used to being in your belly for nine or so months. Most babies still need that security. It looks to me like this would make life for both of you that much easier. 
 Swing – My daughter loved this swing from birth to about 4 months old.  She took many naps in it. I’ve found that most babies want to be able to see their momma or dada at that age. It is easy to move your little one from room to room, outside, or even house to house. My son was not fond of anything other than a person holding him. But remember every baby’s different.
 Tummy Time - Tummy time is very important for babies. Giving them a clean surface for tummy time is essential. Any flat blanket would work for this; I’d steer clear of knitted/crocheted blankets. Most children scream during tummy time, but do it any way for ten or so minutes. These tummy time mats give the baby a little more to play with during that time.  That said, I had one for my daughter but rarely had her use it.  
 Play mat – These can be used as tummy time mats. As to the play mat, my son liked it for about two weeks. Then he started crawling soon after he rolled over around five months old. But there are many babies who wait nine months before crawling. Those babies might enjoy the play mat a lot more. Using a blanket works too.  My daughter is 6 1/2 months old and not even close to crawling.  I finally took out the Jumbo Wheel that I was given when she was just born.  She absolutely loves it.  It keeps her busy for quite some time.  I wish I had taken it out earlier.  And it is machine washable.
Toy/Stuffed animal hammock – I love these! I actually bought three.  Two are in the playroom for extra pillows and child size bean bags. Our son has one in his room for stuffed animals and such. It’s not a necessity but it’s great for organization.


Traveling
Travel bed for on the go – Both of those travel beds are easy to carry light weight. I used the Eddie Bauer one while he was an infant and then used the Pea Pod after he started crawling. The Eddie Bauer one worked wonders, but I think I’d prefer using the Pea Pod the entire time. This way the baby would get used to that and always have something recognizable when falling asleep and waking up.  My daughter was too big for the Eddie Bauer travel bed and does not like the Pea Pod yet.  When she was younger she used her travel swing for naps and now uses a play pen.  When she starts crawling, I'll try the Pea Pod again.


Driving
Car seat – Having an infant car seat is super nice. This way you can put your baby in the car and take him out without much fuss. Plus if the baby’s sleeping, the car seat is a pretty safe place for the baby. No need to wake him up and try to get him to fall asleep again. Check the weight minimum and maximum limits before buying. Also make sure you can get at least one extra base for the car seat. The directions do explain when a baby is too big for the car seat. Reading all the instructions for the car seat is a must. I used a used car seat for my son and one for my daughter just because I knew who it came from and that it had never been in an accident. In general, I suggest buying new.
X  Car seat base x 2 or more (one per vehicle) (Make sure the base fits the car seat)
Head support – no one wants their baby’s head to shift from side to side while in the car. Head support helps alleviate that. Often their precious head will still fall forward while they’re sleeping. I have yet to find something that will prevent that.  This one is the best out of the five we've used thus far.
Sun shade – the baby will probably scream if direct sunlight is in his eyes.


Walks
Stroller – A universal car seat carrier will be extremely helpful. I didn’t realize at the time, but I had gotten a car seat carrier that only fit Graco car seats and I did not have a Graco car seat.Too late to take it back, so I had to purchase another car seat carrier. It was such a blessing though easy to use, pack, and store. A larger car seat takes up more room in and out of the car and is heavy lifting it in and out of the car.  I used my Graco car seat carrier with my daughter as we got a Graco car seat.
Carrier – I loved the Moby Wrap and so did my son. I used it from birth until I had to switch from the front to back carrying position. There are so many different ways to hold your baby.You can even hold twins. I was so glad I had it when we went to the fair. I was still able to nurse him while walking around and enjoying the fair. One down side is it takes a little while to put it on but you learn quickly. The wrap does hold back carrying positions; however, I never felt comfortable doing that by myself.  I used the Moby Wrap for my daughter for the first month.  Since then, I have been using an ERGO baby carrier.  I LOVE it!  I can put my baby on my back by myself and it is a quick process.  


Bath TIme
Bathtub – This bathtub is very easy to use.  My son loved it when he began sitting on his own. I also put my son in it when I needed to use the bathroom. He wanted to be with me, so he was safe, in eye shot, and he had toys to play with to keep him busy. But be careful, the tub can tip if the baby starts to crawl over the front or back of it.  My daughter has loved it from the get go.  I used it during her first 6 months of life.  I only stopped using it due to water getting all over the floor when she splashes.  I recently saw another bathtub and thought it might be great.  There are videos of that tub being used with little ones.  You could just lay a towel down on the bottom or the bathtub and lay your baby on that with a very tiny bit of water.  My son loved doing that until he could sit up.
X Shampoo /body wash – My pediatrician said to only wash the baby two to three times a week.You don’t want to continuously wash off their natural oils. The link is the shampoo/body wash I use for my son.
Lotion – Putting lotion on your baby can be soothing and help with bonding time and massages. Yes, it’s good to massage our baby.
Washcloths x many – My son did not like water being poured over his head so I used a wet wash cloth to get his hair wet and rinse off the shampoo. Once I figured that out, he found bath time to be so much fun. Wash cloths are great once the baby starts eating too, quick clean up.
Hooded towels x3 or more – The hooded towels are so nice. The hood keeps the baby’s head warm while drying it off. When the baby’s young you can snuggle with him while keeping him toasty warm. It is better to have the hood at a corner of the towel; it covers the baby better.
Bath time help – I use a wash cloth which works great. Some really like that tool though.


Feeding
X N Nursing cover – I like the dual purpose of the Balboa cover, but the slurp and burp cover seems like it would be ideal for nursing. My son constantly tried taking the cover off of him. It gets hot especially during the summer months. I borrowed one similar to the Balboa cover.  This time around, I mostly use a light weight blanket if I'm around men.  
XN Bottles w slow flow nipples – My son was nursing like a champ after he was born, but he was peeing way too much. So they had to take him to NICU and there he was given an IV of sugar water and then given the bottle when I wasn’t there. He did get hydrated again but wasn’t latching like before. Within a couple days of using the bottles with the slow flow nipples, he was latching and nursing like a champ again. No more supplements were necessary J I swear by those if you want to nurse. I’m even going to take them with me the next time I give birth just in case.  My daughter won't take a bottle.  But I didn't try to get her to take one until she was a month old or older.
XN Bottle Drop-ins – I’ve been told they help reduce colic. They’re easier to wash, just need to worry about the nipple. It’s also less to pack.
Bottle Drying Rack – This keeps everything up right so the water drains completely out. It’s nice to have. I’ve found many other things dry quicker using that too.
Bottle brush – The large part makes it easy to clean bottles, lids, glasses, etc. The small part is great for nipples.
Dishwasher basket – I use this for anything small. Keep it for later use too; it’s not just for bottles.  I still use it and love it.
X N Nursing Nest Pillow – Whenever I’d nurse my son while lying down, which was a lot, I’d dream of a pillow like this. If only I had found it then.  I did buy one for my daughter, but she was so big it didn't work by the time I tried using it.  So I'm saving it for my next baby :)
X N Brest friend pillow (excellent for use with newborns through 3 or so mo) – This was a life saver. My son nursed all the time. With this pillow I could still eat or play games with my friends and family. Just make sure you hold on to your baby and/or tilt the pillow toward you to prevent the baby from rolling off the pillow.  This pillow didn't work as well for my daughter due to the fact that she was a lot bigger than my son.  
Boppy (excellent after 3 or so mo; great as a pillow; great as a baby holder while taking pix) – I still use this but now mostly for me when I lie down or need an arm rest or something.  This is the only pillow I used to nurse my little girl due to her size.
Burp cloths x21 or more – My favorite burp cloths were the receiving blankets. They were large enough to fold and use again and very absorbent.  The prefold diapers also worked very nicely.
Bibs x many – Bibs are great for drinking, eating, and drooling. Yes, your baby will drool a lot.I like the ones that slip over the head. They seem to cover a bit more area. The sayings are fun to read for you and others around the baby.


Health
Gripe water – This is great for teething, colic, and more.
Baby Tylenol – It’s always good to have on hand. After or before shots and during teething your baby may get a fever. That’s when I was told to use it mostly.
Thermometer – I first used a thermometer for under the arm but didn't like it.  I absolutely love this one.
X Fingernail/Toenail clippers – I have used the clippers on my son since he was 3 or 4 weeks old. Before that, I tore them off. They were paper thin and came off easily. I never cut my baby’s fingers or toes, but I was extremely careful. I cut his nails for the longest time while he was sleeping. Then when he was about ten months old he didn’t fall asleep in my arms any more. I then would give him a cheerio to eat with one hand while I cut the other hand. Now that doesn’t work so I just hold his arms tight and talk to him. It takes longer, but it’s better than clipping his finger.  He now asks for me to cut his nails.  I cut my daughter's nails the same way I did my son's.
X   Brush – I’ve been told that brushing your baby’s hair helps get rid of their dry skin. I didn't use it with my son but wish I had.  I use it with my daughter and it works great!
Cleaning
Disinfectant – This is so much safer for your baby than using bleach or other chemicals. Vinegar is a great cleaner too. Use half vinegar and half water.
  Detergent for diapers (soft rock and laundry scoop) – This laundry soap works wonders especially on diapers and it’s natural. If you have soft water, use about half as much as it calls for. They now have detergent for hard water, so choose accordingly.
X Detergent - I will be using this detergent since it is for everything and is all natural.


For Moms
X N Nipple cream – This is VERY important especially in the first few months of nursing. Use after every feeding. After the baby becomes a pro at nursing, the cream won’t be needed as much.  I learned after my second baby's birth that mother's milk is perfect to use instead of a cream.
X N Nursing bra x3 or more – Bravado bras are amazing! I wish I had bought them earlier in my pregnancy. There nice too because they work for three sizes. I have used the same bras since my first baby was born.  They still are in great shape and work wonderfully.
X N Nursing pads cloth – I use these and love them. Two packs were a perfect amount for me. I did not/do not leak a lot. I've been told from those who leaked a lot that they cut up cloth diapers and used that.
Nursing pads disposable – I did use disposables sometimes at the beginning. The ones I used were itchy. I didn’t like them. The Lansinoh ones work better but I still didn't like them. Some who leaked a lot told me to use cut up pads.
X  Modest Middles - These are fabulous!  I didn't have them the first time around, but I do now and love them.  I can now wear regular shirts without showing my stomach while nursing.  But it does add an extra layer of fabric which can make you hotter.
X  Shirts/Tank tops - I don't have the shirts due to the price, but I'll be putting it on my registry for next time.  I do have the tank tops and they work fabulously.  However, there is a lot of skin that shows, so I usually wear a draped vest over the tank top.
X Brief underwear especially if you had a c-section - The brief underwear was the only underwear that didn’t cut into my incision.
X N Pump – This pump worked great. I’ve also gotten many good reviews from friends.  However, I had one cousin that said the electric pumps did not work for her. So she used a manual pump.
X N Bra for pump – I want this for my next baby. I used an old sports bra and cut a nickel size whole in each nipple. The hole will stretch when you put the pump through it, so you don’t want the hole too big. That bra did and still does work but I’d prefer the bra made for the pump.  With my daughter, I can only get milk from pumping while I am breastfeeding.  So I've been thinking about using a nursing bra and cutting a nickle size whole in each side.  This way I'll be able to nurse on one side pump on the other without having to hold the pump.
X N Bags for milk – If you store your milk in storage bag for milk and put it in a deep freezer, the milk is good for 6 months. If you store it in the fridge, it’s good for about 3 days.
X N Milk storage for bags – Now that I’m done using this for milk in the freezer, I have it in my Tupperware cabinet holding lids. I love it for both uses J
  N Nursing Stool – I wish I had one. I’ve had to use make shift stools such as cabinets and such to elevate my feet while nursing. The make shift stools don’t allow for proper positioning and can bring on back or leg pain. This stool allows for different heights which should fit a larger variety of women.  This time around, I just criss crossed my legs on the couch while nursing.
  N To do while nursing: Journal, Pen, Highlighter, Book, Bookmark, Movies – The first three months of my child’s life, he nursed a lot. And when he was done nursing and wanted to sleep, he would only do so if I held him. I needed those things to keep me sane.  While nursing my daughter, my son kept me entertained.
Lotion – I have not used this but will buy it the next time I get some. I prefer organic than synthetic.
P90X – It’s important to keep fit. It’s much more difficult to get fit after you’ve stopped working out in some form. This program gives you different options of intensity.  (I have used this but due to various circumstances I have not been able to use it long.  I look forward to starting it up again.)
X Camera/video camera – Capture all the moments you can. They change so quickly!
X N Post natal vitamins for nursing mothers – vitamins are important for nursing moms. The breast milk takes the nutrients away from mom so the baby gets what he needs.  My doctor said that I can use my prenatal vitamins.
XN Comfortable place to nurse – This is very important. You’ll be using it for a very long time.So find something that works for you.

SITS WITH HELP
Stroller/Bike Trailer – This looks pretty neat. It’s two in one J I have a bike trailer for one or two and I love it, so does my son and my nephew. It’s great exercise for me and a wonderful way to get the babies outside. It would be nice if the trailer turned into a stroller. I could bike more places. I’m afraid of going to the library, grocery store and other places where I’d have to leave the trailer outside. I don’t want it stolen.
Baby carrier – The more I see this, the more I like it. There is even an infant insert. So wish I had one when my son was younger.  I use this all the time for my daughter.  She loves it.
Seat for baby – I have the Bumbo seat for my son. I love it and so do many others. However, it is a bit difficult to get the tray on and the baby out if the tray is on. The bebe Pod seems more versatile, but I don't know of anyone who's used it.
Keep baby’s head up right – My baby’s head always falls forward. This is the best thing I found so far.
Exercauser – You’ll probably want this once your baby can sit without help. It keeps the baby busy and happy for a while. Depending on how long between the time your baby sits without help and crawls/scoots will probably depend on the length of time the exercauser is used.  However, my son still plays with it just from the outside.  I bought a travel exercauser for my daughter.  I'm passing on the other exercauser to a friend.
Bath fun – My son loved these as a teething tool. He now enjoys them in the bath.  They are also great to help teach the ABCs.
Musical book – My son loves books and anything musical. When the two are combined, it’s all the better. Before he was very mobile, he’d sit and play with it for, it seemed like, hours. Now he’ll carry it around with him as he finds a new place to sit.
Music – We keep this in the car hooked to the car seat by links. He loves it and has for quite some time.
Plastic links – I use these to attach things to his car seat, stroller, and highchair at home and away. It also makes for a great toy.
   Bathtub toy squirters – My son has one and loves to play with it. 
Bathtub toy keeper – It’s important to dry his toys and keep them from getting full of mildew.  
  Car seat toy – I had a car seat toy that attached to the handle. The problem with that is it can’t be used while the baby’s in the car as the handle is supposed to be behind the seat not in front of the baby. I ended up attaching that one to the legs of a chair in our dining room. The hyperlink item attaches to the car seat itself, so it can be used while in the car.

WHEN BABY STARTS TO CRAWL OR SCOOT
X Enclosed Play area – I bought mine off of Craigslist. The extension came with it. That was a good size. In his early months of crawling, I was still exhausted. Both of us fit in there with me lying down. I could rest while he played, I knew he was safe, and he could get me if he needed me.
Baby Proofing – I used electrical cord outlet plugs, cabinet door locks, and drawer locks. That seems to be all I needed. Instead of locking my toilet, I’d just shut the door. My suggestion is to baby proof before your baby is six months old, because once they are mobile, you’d wish you had baby proofed already.
Shopping cart cover – I have used a shopping car cover due to germs and safety. It keeps my baby from touching/eating the cart that others germs are all over. And if he falls sideways, he has a little cushion to protect him.
Toothbrush – My pediatrician said that once your baby gets teeth, you should brush them. At his one year appointment, she said it was very important to be brushing his teeth as he is eating all the foods we eat and waiting will just make it more difficult to get him to brush. I forget to brush his teeth. So I figured if he liked his toothbrush, he might help remind me J
Teething tablets – I’ve heard praises given for the tablets. I’ve found that the gripe water is the best.
Bathroom safety – I figure I’ll shut the door if I don’t want him in there. However, I plan on putting a lock on the cabinet with the cleaning items in it.
 Bathroom knee saver – You want a knee saver. I just use a folded up towel. It works well, plus it can soak up water that spills over the tub.
Stool – My son has this and loves it. He can sit on it and put his toys in it. He loves to open and close the lid. It gives him something to do while you need to use the restroom for whatever reason.  He uses it all the time to get on the toilet and wash his hands.
  Carrier for hikes – These are great.  If you hike or go on long walks, I strongly recommend getting one of these.
Umbrella stroller – I strongly suggest getting an umbrella stroller for short trips. You’ll want something light, quick, and small. It may be a little too short for you if you’re tall and harder to control than a jogging stroller. But the positive points outweigh the negative ones.
Jogging stroller – These are great for longer walks/trips. The jogging strollers are easier to steer and more comfortable for you and the baby than strollers with four tires.
Floor for Baby to move on – We have tile and wood in most of our house. You don’t want your baby hitting his or her head on it. And they will fall many times while learning to sit, crawl, and walk.
3 in 1 car seat or FAA approved car seat – I just recently found out that a baby traveling in an airplane in their own seat requires an FAA approved car seat or a CARES harness. So if you are planning on flying with your child, I suggest getting the FAA approved car seat. Then you’ll have a car seat for flying and driving. I have the 3 in 1 car seat. Decide what will work best for you and your family.
Car seat carrying case – If you’ll be flying with your child taking a car seat, you’ll want one or more of these.

STARTS EATING
Feeding System – The reviews seem to agree that the electric mill was not worth it. They said to use your blender. My blender didn’t work. It may be because it was old or something else. I liked the hand food mill below.
Feeding dish – looks good. I’d probably use it a lot if I had one, but I didn’t. It wasn’t missed.
Food mill – This worked great as long as the veggies were cooked enough. I used it until my son got teeth and could handle small bites of cut up food at 9 months. I highly recommend it.
Freezer Trays – I have two that were given to me. I love them. It’s great having something that is portion size and has a cover. I did use ice trays for the rest. Those can be covered with foil. They worked well too.
Table cover – I love this. I used to bus tables and know that many tables are not cleaned properly. No, I’m not one of those over protective mothers. You could always give the table a decent cleaning using wipes if you don’t have a cover.
Bib – I looked at Target and some of those bibs similar to the hyperlinked one are $16. Ouch! I thought this bib was pricy at $6. I got a plastic bib with short sleeves and a little pocket at Frys grocery store. It was only a few bucks. The pocket doesn’t seem to work that well, but if the table cover is used the pocket isn’t really necessary. However, as your baby grows, larger bibs are necessary.
Seat – I got this for my baby shower. My son did not like it for quite some time. I think it was too roomy for him. In hind sight I should have put some blankets or towels next to him to make him feel more secure. However, once my son was mobile he enjoyed it. Now he gets a huge smile on his face as he climbs in it and rocks all by himself.  He still loves it but is willing to share it with his sister.  
Booster Seat or highchair – I used a booster seat that was given to us for my son.  I loved it but then we moved and now have a breakfast counter.  So I bought a highchair for each of my kids.  I really wish I would have bought it sooner.  I got the barnsling to help support my baby girl since she still needs help sitting up.

WALKING
Harness – My son listens to me very well, so I haven't used it much.  I have used it at the fair. It’s also a little backpack. He does like playing with it and loves the tail.
Toddler backpack/harness – When he gets older, like three, I’ll probably get this for him. As he’ll want to be like a big kid and carry some of his own toys and snacks.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

God is so Good

Today, we went to our new church for the first time.  It's amazing how things fall into place some times.

Yesterday, my husband asked me if we were going to church tomorrow.  I said that I'd like to.  He looked it up on the internet and saw they have a 9 o'clock and 11 o'clock service.  I picked the 9 o'clock one.  Thankfully we planned to leave 30 minutes before service started.  We had a few issues arise, but all was good.

We walked our son to his class.  I was at complete peace leaving him there.  Then I decided to check where our daughter would go if I left her some where.  To my surprise, again I was at complete peace leaving her in her class.  This was her first day in Sunday school.  Then my husband and I went to service just as praise and worship started.

My back started hurting shortly after service started.  I had thought that I would have gone down for prayer if they opened it up which is weird because I don't like asking for "help".  In any case, at the end of praise and worship, we were asked to come forward for prayer for anything.  I was about to argue and fight about going up there but decided just to do it.

At the front, two ladies, Linda and Jane, prayed for me.  As they prayed I got chills up and down my arms, the good kind.  Linda kept hearing one word, "intercessor".  She asked me a few questions and started speaking into my life and my family.  They said that people are drawn to me because of Christ in me.  They also mentioned my family and how God will be using us.  For those skeptics out there, yes it could be coincidence.  But for what they prayed, the happenings around it, timing, and such, it could only be God.

As the preaching was about to begin, I was called into the nursery to feed my baby girl.  There I learned more about the church and started getting so much more excited about our new venture :)

God is good!

Monday, June 6, 2011

P90X - It's ON!

Two years ago my wonderful husband bought me P90X after I told him I wanted to do that workout. Well, it turned out I couldn't do it due to my back. I was unable to workout for about three years. Now after having my second child, my back is almost 100%. I just had to get motivated. (Those of you that know me, know I am a planner.) So last night I added an event into my phone calendar to do P90X. Well, I did it, and it kicked my butt!

I started out with Core Synergistics.  I was appalled by how much I used to be able to do and now can't do :(  I couldn't keep up with those on the dvd, but I kept moving.  It felt good to sweat and feel some muscle soreness.  Tomorrow is Cardio.  We'll see how well my heart holds up.  I do need a better bra especially for cardio.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know :)

I hope this will be the motivation I need to start eating better.  I really need to get rid of my belly fat.  A combination of eating right and working out should do the trick.  Then I need to stick with it even through pregnancy.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Ten Today

1.  It's a lot more difficult getting on here than it used to be.

2.  JT's 2 year doc appt: 37 in. tall = 97%, 31.4 lbs = 86%




3.  RAE's 2 mo doc appt: 25 in. tall = 99%, 14.4 lbs = 97%


4.  We're looking at renting out our house.


5.  We're also looking at moving to the east side of the valley.


6.  RAE is sleeping better than ever :)  She goes to bed between 7-8pm and sleeps until 2-3am, then wakes again around 6 or 7am.  She's again sleeping well during the day too :)


7.  My son is growing so fast both in body and mind.  He sings his ABCs, Jesus Loves Me, and a few other songs with almost perfect accuracy.  He also surprised me today when we were counting blocks.  There were more than ten so I continued counting saying, "Eleven."  He then beat me to twelve.  My son knew twelve came after eleven.  He just turned two last week.  I'm afraid my son is growing up too fast.  Before I know it he's going to be telling me about a girl he has a crush on :(




8.  I made homemade chicken soup yesterday.  It was my first time doing so.  I took a spoonful just to try it.  OH!!!  It was disgusting!!!  It was all grease.  I was not aware that I needed to let it sit in the fridge overnight and then dispense of the grease.  I won't make that mistake again :)


9.  JT had a great time at his birthday party.  It was his first time hitting a pinata.  We had a great breakfast spread thanks to all those who brought something :)






10.  I sing a song to my little girl often.  It goes like this, "You're momma's little angel, momma's little lamb, momma's little lady, and big brother's momma's little man."  It usually always gets a smile out of her.  

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ten Today

1.  Rachael Ann is smiling and grabbing things :)

2.  RAE & Joseph Jr were both dedicated Sunday.


3.  Easter is quickly approaching.  I want to start a yearly tradition with my son.  I figure he's old enough to understand the basics of what Christ did for us.  I'm just not sure what to do.

4.  RAE is growing fast.  She's 13 lbs and has been in 3-6 months clothes for a while now.

5.  The doctor ok'd me to exercise and such now :)  I'm looking forward to starting P90X soon :)  Now I just have to do it.

6.  RAE Loves her swing :)  Joseph Jr did not.  So I truly know what a blessing it is to have a baby love sitting in something.

7.  Joseph Jr is growing fast as well.  He's in size 3 clothes.

8.  He's super smart too.  He recently started counting things.  I never would have guessed that my son would have started school already :)

9.  My husband is the best.  Our marriage just keeps on getting better :)

10.  James 1:19  I have been working on this for a long time and working on it even harder now.  It's amazing how your children are mirrors of you.